Cooking the books
After last month's unfortunate factory warehouse fire incident (a pure coincidence that I'd just updated the insurance policy), the last thing Dodgi needs is any further bad press.
So it was with much relief that I noted that government plans to force organisations to publish their gender pay gaps only apply to large outfits with over 250 staff.
According to the Guardian, some 7,000 of the 9,000 eligible organisations had filed results by the day before the 5 April deadline. This includes Microsoft UK, whose mean pay gap stood at 6.6 per cent.
However, it does rather seem that not everyone is taking the new rules seriously, with at least 17 organisations discovered to have reported a mathematically impossible bonus gap of more than 100 per cent. In one case, the exact same figures - with no gender pay gap and an equal divide of men and women throughout the company - were apparently filed for three different companies by the same HR manager.
If the legislation is ever extended to small firms in the Dagenham area, I've given my part-time CFO, Frank, licence to deploy some similar creative wizardry on Dodgi's books. In my defence, I do believe deeply in the concept of equal pay: I think all my staff should be paid equally low salaries.
The great and the good of the IT channel gathered together at the end of March to see off Softcat CEO Martin Hellawell as he steps back into a non-exec role. I can only conclude my invite got lost in the post.
Hellawell has taken Softcat's revenue from ￡50m to approaching ￡1bn during his 12 years in charge. Impressive stuff. But I'm reliably informed that most of his colleagues' farewell speeches focused not on his sterling track record, but on the rigidity of his wallet, with Hellawell himself admitting he still buys all his clothes from eBay.
This is despite the likeable Brummie having just cashed in ￡11m of Softcat shares. From one industry guru to another: good luck in your new ventures, old friend, and if you're ever in the Dagenham area, do drop in. And buy me a pint while you're at it!
While we're on the subject, Hellawell's (semi) retirement bash came just as Softcat's market value zoomed past that of Computacenter's for the first time.
At the time of writing, Softcat's market cap is hovering around a heady ￡1.3bn, on a par with its much larger rival. To put that in context, it's roughly equal to the combined value of Manchester City and Manchester United's squads, or, alternatively, the GDP of the sovereign state of Antigua and Barbuda.
Coincidentally, that's also what I'd win if my accumulator of Leytonstone getting past the fifth round of the FA Cup and Dagenham's Boy winning his maiden 13.19 race at the Coral Romford Greyhound Stadium next Saturday comes in.
Nostalgia's not what it used to be
As a lover of the printed word, I was thoroughly disheartened to read that young children are now apparently trying to swipe books instead of reading them.
So alien a concept are books that kids are picking them off library shelves and trying to use them as they would an iPad, according to one teacher who spoke at the recent National Education Union conference in Brighton.
"Kindles and iPads are wonderful things, but many of my friends talked about the smell of a book, finding tickets and receipts that someone had left as a bookmark, echoes of all the people who had been there before," Jennifer Bhambri-Lyte told delegates.
I can only imagine that Bhambri-Lyte hasn't been anywhere near the kids' section of a library recently. The only monuments to the past contained inside the last book Dave Junior discharged from our local lending establishment were half a banana skin, a sticky Irn-Bru stain, and some crude anatomical daubings.
One lady who will certainly be ‘swiping left' with the best of them now is our venerable prime minister, Theresa May.
I read with interest on the BBC that our Premier has been forced to replace her beloved BlackBerry handset with an iPhone. The wheat field-loving politician was the "last member of the No 10 team" still using one of the Canadian firm's devices, according to news site Politico.
Of all the ill-advised policy positions I wish Theresa May would abandon, as a Europhile I have to say that owning an ageing rectangular smartphone is fairly low down the pecking order.
■ Dave Diamond-Geezer, director of Digital Online Deals and Global Integration (Dodgi) of Dagenham Ltd.
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